With the summer months fast approaching, you will soon be firing up the air conditioning. And usually, keeping your home cool during the summer months means paying more for electricity. To make the strains of summer home cooling a little less painful to your wallet, however, there are at least five easy things you can do that will lead to paying a lower electric bill.
- Determine your home energy use profile –In order to know where you can conserve electricity, you must first know where it’s going. Many electric power companies’ websites have online questionnaires that will help you determine your electricity-use habits and give you ideas of where and how to conserve. As well, they may offer to have an assessor conduct a free walk-through of your home and make recommendations.
- Upgrade frequent-use lighting with LED bulbs –Although LED light bulbs are not free, the savings they provide by using less power is free. LED bulbs use less than half as much energy as traditional incandescent bulbs, they last twice as long, and they cost about $1.70/year to burn (compared to $10.55/year for incandescent). By using LED bulbs in your most frequently used lighting sources, you will see a noticeable drop in energy use and in your electric bill.
- Turn off lights, unplug appliances and devices –It may seem obvious, but turning off lights when you’re not using them can save anywhere from 1 to 5% on your monthly electric bill. To save additional kilowatt-hours, appliances such as coffeemakers and toasters can be unplugged when not in use. Devices such as laptop/desktop computers, printers, game systems and chargers also use a significant amount of power when they are plugged in but dormant, so unplug them after using. Finally, unplugging unused audio/video equipment such as TVs, speakers, and stereos will also add to the savings on your electric bill.
- Reduce use of single-room heating and cooling units –Space heaters and window air conditioners use lots of energy, usually to heat or cool only a small area of your home. That is why limiting your use of these kinds of units will save considerable energy and help to lower your monthly bill. As an alternative, consider using energy-saving curtains or drapes on windows in these spaces to help limit the need for additional heating or cooling units.
- Turn your thermostat down/up 1 degree –Whether your home has electric heat or forced-air gas, your furnace still uses electricity to help heat your home. Either way, turning your thermostat down one degree lower than your regular temperature in winter can save you up to 10% on your electric bill. The same is true with air conditioning use, turning your thermostat up one degree in summer will save you money. In both cases, your heating or cooling unit will turn on less often, resulting in less electricity use and a lower monthly bill.
Reducing your monthly use of electricity is not only good economics, it’s also good for the planet. At Wieland Builders, we test every home for energy efficiency before we build it and again after completion. We always achieve a 5-star energy efficiency rating on every home we build. Our focus is on quality and customer care in building beautiful custom homes in communities in Southwest Ohio, Southeast Indiana, and Northern Kentucky. Call us today to find out what we can do for you: 513-860-4996.